Modern Chinese writers are known for their efforts in creating a literary revolution that sought to reformulate the paradigm of Chinese writing. However, these Chinese writers also endeavored to learn from other cultures such as the European and Indian civilizations. For example, Tagore was invited to visit to China in 1923 and was considered a cultural model by many Chinese cultural elites. Hu Shi, a leading Chinese intellectual, wrote The Indianization of China: A Case Study in Cultural Borrowing and India Our Great Teacher, to emphasize the Indian elements in Chinese culture. Other Chinese writers also sought to compare the European with Chinese cultures in different occasions in order to find a path for the rise of modern China. This course explores the ways in which foreign cultures were introduced and how they influence the way Chinese see themselve s in their search for a cultural identity free from the constraints of classical tradition. We will read a variety of writers from the Peoples Republic of Ch ina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia, in order to examine how modern Chinese literature thrives on cross-cultural elements. All readings will be in English. No prior knowledge is required. Those who are proficient in Chinese are invited to read some of the texts in Chinese.
Section 401 - SEM
This course explores the rise of vernacular literature as a renewed tradition in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century China, and investigates its relation with the contemporary discourses on world literature and Sinophone studies. Some of the questions we will examine include: What is vernacular Chinese literature and how do we define it in relation to modern Chinese literature? How did Chinese writers at the turn of the twentieth century conceptualize, discuss, and produce vernacular literature for various purposes? In particular, how do concepts of “vernacularity” and “vernacular language” (baihua) intersect with other social, political, and scientific discourses in China and beyond? We will engage with writers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia, in order to reveal the various ways in which vernacular writing is produced. All readings will be in English. Those who are proficient in Chinese are invited to read some of the texts in Chinese.
W 0200PM-0500PM